Don’t let a chimney fire threaten your safety this winter


As the weather starts to turn colder West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging all residents across West Sussex to have their chimney professionally swept, in an effort to reduce the number of chimney fires.

During last winter the fire service attended 90 chimney fires across the county. It’s a statistic that could be easily reduced if every resident with a chimney had the flue swept regularly; keeping the chimney clean significantly reduces the risk of fire.

Phil Maynard, WSFRS Station Manager, explains; “We can’t stress enough the importance of getting your chimney flue inspected by a competent chimney sweep. A clean chimney will help to prevent chimney fires, possible carbon monoxide poisoning and potential structural damage. Our firefighters do a fantastic job in responding to home fires but we would rather not have to come visit you at all!”

WSFRS advice on staying safe from fire:
• Employ a registered chimney sweep to clean your chimney, never attempt it yourself
• Sweep chimneys once a year with appliances using smokeless fuel, gas or those that are oil fired
• Sweep those using coal twice a year
• Sweep wood burning chimneys quarterly while in use
• Use fire or spark guards to help prevent a serious fire
• Always ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house
• Never block air bricks, vents or flues
• Always fit a carbon monoxide detector
• If you haven't already done so, fit a smoke alarm.

For more safety advice and information on how to prevent chimney fires, visit:

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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